A little louder: ''Mummy!'
Oh God. I don't know what time it is, but it's still black outside, and I have only just fallen asleep after being up with Baldy Baby half the night. I sniff the air. Nothing is on fire. I just want to go back to sleep.
An intake of air. I can tell she is about to launch into some long winded description of whatever her problem is. My husband realises this too, hisses a 'shhhhhh' at her, and leaps out of bed, dragging her with him.
One hour later.
The front door bangs with intent. It is my husband's way of waking me, letting me know he is leaving the kids unattended downstairs. I sniff the air. Nothing is on fire. I roll over and fall asleep.
Half an hour later.
Screaming. I crank one eye open and look at the clock. It's half past seven and I have an hour before we need to leave for school. I would willingly give up a kidney for another hour's sleep but instead I crawl out of bed and head downstairs to survey to damage.
The screaming is because the DVD daddy put on has finished. He has also supplied them with a box of icecream cones, which is now empty on the bench, little wafer carcasses strewn across the carpet. This apparently, was their breakfast.
I start the DVD again, pour myself a coffee and attach the Boobinator. The Curly Mop, now known as Typhoid Emi, has wilfully spread her germs to the new baby, who is so congested she can barely breathe let alone breastfeed. I am back on the pump.
I ask Typhoid Emi to find an outfit for the day. She is now two and a quarter and horribly opinionated. She returns with a flowery one-piece bathing suit. Woefully inappropriate for the 11 degree morning. With much gnashing of teeth, threats and bribes I coax her into a thin cotton dress and sandals. Much better.
I drag the poor sleeping baby out of her bed and start strapping her into the car seat. We are woefully late for school, but at least by now the carpark will be half empty and I will find a space without queuing. There is always a silver lining.
Typhoid Emi and the Bombshell start a new game. They are taking turns squishing each other in the security door. At least they are sharing, I think.
We're in the car and I look in the rear view mirror and ask the Bombshell why she came to wake me this morning.
'The cushions were on the floor,' she tells me.
'Were they on fire?' I ask.
'Were they being carried off by a plague of rats?'
'What's a plague?'
'That's not the point,' I say. 'Do you really think that cushions being on the floor was a good reason to wake Mummy.'
She thinks for a second. I can tell she thinks this is a trick question.
'Yes?', she says hopefully.
'No. No it really isn't.' She looks crestfallen, and apprehensive. I can tell she thinks she is going to get yelled at.
But I am past that point now. All I want to do is drop her at school, so I can sneak to McDonalds for an enormous coffee and some hash browns.
Fifteen minutes later.
We are parked in the sun, overlooking the lake. The Mop is in the back seat tentatively blowing on a Hash Brown. I am scoffing a McMuffin. Things are looking up.
Time to start the day.
* * * *
Except for the hash browns this is more typical than I care to admit. We do what we need to do to make it through the day.
What do you do just to get out the door in the mornings?